Section: Sports

After tough two-game stretch, Lords defeat resilient Terriers

After tough two-game stretch, Lords defeat resilient Terriers

Left: Carter Powell ‘20 jumps for a layup against Ohio Wesleyan. Right: Ugnius Zilinskas ‘21 shoots over the hands of two OWU defenders. |SEJIN KIM/KENYON SID/NCAA

The three most recent games for the Kenyon men’s basketball team demonstrated great persistence. Although the team was unable to prevail in their first two games, they finished their week with an impressive showing in a victory over Hiram College.

On Jan. 15, Kenyon faced Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) at Tomsich Arena. The game started slow offensively, with the OWU Battling Bishops going 1-for-17 from the field during the first 11 minutes of play. During this time, the Lords scored 10 points to their opponent’s two. At the nine-minute mark, the visitors began to gain momentum and hit three consecutive 3-pointers. This closed the gap for OWU, as they trailed Kenyon by only one point (12-11).

The Bishops went on to tie the game at 16 with a layup a few plays later. The Lords responded again and after a 3-pointer from Carter Powell ’20, the purple and black were up 22-16. Just before the end of the half, the visitors took back the lead and the teams retreated to the locker room with the score standing at 32-27. After falling behind by as many as 10, Elijah Davis ’22 provided some momentum with eight minutes remaining, converting a three-point play to bring the Lords to within five points of OWU. This was the closest the Lords would get to victory, though, as the Bishops secured the victory, winning 62-51.

On Saturday, the Lords traveled to Indiana to take on Wabash College. The two teams were evenly matched early on, with seven lead changes within the first 13 minutes. Ryan O’Neil ’20 and Davis were the highest scorers during the first half; both players contributed seven points, and Davis was able to give Kenyon a 24-22 lead with a layup. Kenyon secured this position with a little less than 8 minutes until halftime. However, Wabash began to show more offensive prowess, hitting eight of 12 shots on a 23-9 run. During the stretch, the Lords only made three of their nine attempts. Wabash’s momentum continued into the second half, with Wabash building a 60-36 lead, while Kenyon only shot 5-for-21 from the field in the second half. Ugnius Zilinskas ’21 finished with a team-high 17 points, while Davis and O’Neil added 10 and nine points, respectively.

Despite the losses, Coach Daniel Priest was satisfied with his team’s effort. “We played well in parts of both games last week but were not consistent enough to beat two very good teams. We are coming out of an incredibly challenging part of our schedule, so I think we have learned some things and improved individually and as a team,” he said. “We have focused a considerable amount of time and practice to execute our offense and being able to score in the half-court and transition, and I think we are making strides.”

In their final game of the week, the Lords defeated Hiram College at Tomsich Arena. After falling behind in the first few minutes of play, the Lords surged ahead, claiming the lead and maintaining it for the remainder of the game. Zilinskas had another dominant performance, finishing with a team-high 17 points. Powell and Nick Lewis ’23 added 14 and 12 points respectively. The Lords’ defensive pressure was indisputably the deciding factor of the game. Kenyon was able to hold Hiram to 3-for-18 shooting from beyond the arc, a dismal 17 percent, as the Terriers launched from deep in an attempt to mount a comeback. The Lords will look to build on their win in their next matchup against DePauw University this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Tomsich Arena.

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